What's leaking from your vehicle?
Get them checked out!
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
How to tell which fluid is leaking.
When you notice a suspicious liquid beneath your car, your heart drops. What is it? What did I do? How much is this going to cost? You kneel on the pavement, staring at the puddle of unidentified ooze. When a vehicle has a leak, we usually assume the worst. While some automotive fluid leaks are serious, many are really no big deal and can be fixed easily.
- Engine oil is the most common type of fluid leak. The puddle will be towards the front of your vehicle. Dip your finger or a piece of paper towel into the liquid. If it's oil, the fluid will be brown or black, feel slick, and have a slightly burnt odor. Look underneath your vehicle to ensure that the oil pan plug is properly in place and that the oil filter is secured. If neither of these parts are the culprit, you should take your vehicle to us to have the oil pan inspected. Until then, you can add oil to replace any that has been lost because of the leak.
- Another common fluid is antifreeze. Again, the source of an antifreeze leak is usually in the front part of your vehicle. Antifreeze may also leak from your exhaust pipe at the tail end of your car. The consistency of antifreeze is thinner than oil but slightly thicker than water. It is usually red or green in color. It will usually smell sweet. Do not let it make contact with your mouth or eyes if you need to sniff the fluid to determine that it is antifreeze. If you notice this type of auto fluid leaking from your vehicle, take it to your mechanic immediately. Leaking antifreeze can be caused by radiator or water pump malfunction and may eventually lead to further damage to your engine.
- Transmission fluid leaks will appear closer to the center of the vehicle. Transmission fluid is sometimes difficult to distinguish from oil; however, this fluid has more of a reddish color. If you determine that your leak is transmission fluid, take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. The transmission fluid may need to be replaced or the leak could be caused by a more serious engine problem. Drive your vehicle as little as possible until you can get it to a garage.
- Power steering fluid leaks are usually found somewhere under the front half of your car. It is slick like engine oil but slightly thinner. If you think that your car is leaking power steering fluid, allow a mechanic to address the problem immediately. Leaking power steering fluid may result in the sudden loss of your power steering, a significant safety hazard.
- Brake fluid is sometimes difficult to distinguish from power steering fluid as it has a similar texture and color. Brake fluid leaks can be found anywhere underneath your vehicle. This leak should also be professionally addressed as soon as possible. The loss of braking power could result in a serious accident.
- The easiest to identify of any vehicle fluid leak, gasoline leaks are also the most problematic. Faulty fuel injectors or fuel lines often cause gasoline to leak from your vehicle. Not only are you losing money, fuel leaks are often caused by major problems that should be addressed by a mechanic.
- Windshield wiper fluid is the one leaking liquid that does not affect the operation of your vehicle. This leak will appear towards the front of your vehicle, is the consistency of water, and will often be brightly colored. Check the windshield wiper fluid reservoir to ensure that the cap is properly in place and refill any lost fluid.
*Whenever there's a leak under your vehicle, try to make sure that it is kept away from any pets or small children.
Call us today at 780-955-1991 to make an appointment and keep your vehicle running well this season.
Safe driving this winter from all of us at E & R Auto.
Categories: Car repair
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